Meet with Viktorija Soldatenko from HNC Horticulture

On Monday 4th June, our new horticultural centre will officially open at our Langside campus. The £1.8 million purpose-built centre will grow the knowledge and experience of our horticultural students, who will be studying at the only centre of its kind in the west of Scotland.

Ahead of the centre’s launch, we caught up with Viktorija Soldatenko (pictured right), one of our horticultural students, and asked for her thoughts on her course and what the centre will mean for students.

“I’m Viktorija, and I’m an HNC Horticulture student here at Glasgow Clyde College. I chose to study horticulture because I don’t want to waste time studying something just for the sake of it – I want to study something I love. I love plants, I love nature, and I’m 100% passionate about getting a career in this field. And this course is the key to achieving it.

“There are two main aspects to horticultural courses at the college: the academic and the practical. Both are critical if you want to know what you’re doing, whether that’s in a garden or on a job site. First, we learn the knowledge: the names of plants, the science behind them, how it all works. Then, we go out and practice what we’ve learned: planting and maintaining plants, designing gardens, or getting work experience.

“When I was a kid, I used to spend time working in my grandmother’s garden. Horticulture has always been an interest of mine, but when I started this course, I had no previous knowledge other than my own personal interests. My course has certainly changed that.

“It’s not just college-based, however. At the end of the year, we’re expected to go out and seek on-the-job work experience and then present what we’ve learned in a written report. My work experience was with the City of Glasgow Council: I was part of the team that recently designed and planted flowers in George Square for spring.

“With the launch of the new horticultural centre here, Glasgow Clyde College really will be the best option around for studying horticulture. There are loads of glasshouses – not only for planting plants, but also for maintaining them. If a student plants something at the beginning of the year, they’ll be able to study it through its full growth cycle. That’s key to understanding how plants work and how to nurture them.

“There’s also the new workshop, complete with massive work tables, a big screen for lectures, and plenty of machinery. Next year’s students will have everything they need to get hands on with their course straightaway.

“And then there’s the lecturers. Not only are they experts in their field, but they truly care about every student. They are a passionate, professional, and experienced team, and I’m very glad I chose to study at Glasgow Clyde College.

“I’ve enjoyed my course so much that I’m confident in pursuing horticulture as a lifelong career. Now that I’m about to graduate, I’m choosing to study for another two years, and I’m hoping to work at the beautiful Threave Garden in Castle Douglas. Managed by the National Trust for Scotland, it’s the perfect next step in my career.

“I hope one day work as a garden designer in one of National Trust of Scotland's gardens, preserving and maintaining natural beauty.

“If you’re interested in horticulture but don’t know what you want your career to be, my advice is to just go for it and start studying. During your time at the college, you really learn what your specific interest is. I already knew I wanted to work in horticulture, but I didn’t know where it would take me. Now I know.”

Browse our horticulture courses to explore your options, or get in touch if you’d like to visit our new horticultural centre for yourself.